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The Last Word

News/Business. (2013)

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U.s. 11, Christie 10, Us 10, Benghazi 9, Kentucky 8, Mcconnell 8, Chris Christie 7, Obama 6, Glenn Greenwald 5, America 5, Mitch Mcconnell 5, Anthony Weiner 5, Travis 4, Mississippi 4, Boris 3, Justin Porter 3, Moynihan 3, Justin 3, Expedia 3, New York 3,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2013)  

    August 5, 2013
    10:00 - 11:01pm PDT  

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that may explain why chevron has been busy insulting and deriding the city that has this refinery of its in public. who knows how this is going to turn out? both sides seem to be fully digging in at this point and pledging to fight it to the end. but in the meantime, the city of richmond proceeds about its daily business in the shadow of that more than 100-year-old tonight, the nsa is claiming credit for discovering the latest al qaeda threat by monitoring overseas electronic communications. new information on the global terror threat. >> the terror threat continues. >> that is keeping more than a dozen u.s. embassies and consulates closed. >> we're going to keep evaluating information as it comes in. >> for others it was a chance to put the spotlight back on benghazi. >> pen gazi was a complete failure. >> a direct consequence of what we saw in benghazi. >> we've learned from benghazi, thank god. >> domestic politics are
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definitely driving this. >> the good news is we picked up intelligence and that's what we do. >> the nsa program -- >> that's what nsa does. >> using the threat as a vehicle to advance their own agendas. >> the deadly hit-and-run over the weekend. >> detectives believe he intentionally hit the pedestrians. >> there's more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field. >> bob filner is expected to enter a clinic today. >> i saw him place his hands where they did not belong on numerous women. >> pull over. >> whoa. >> anthony weiner is nothing if entenacious. >> i'm going to get over it. >> new jersey governor chris christie. >> new jersey governor chris christie is as hot as it gets. >> are you stupid? on topic. on topic. next question. >> senator mcconnell took the stage at the traditional kentucky fancy farm event. >> obama care is a disaster for america. >> the struggle is just to be heard above the din. >> if the dodgers told senator mcconnell that he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it.
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>> can you put this in perspective? >> the politics of the terror threat. >> chris christie is as hot as it gets. >> minority leader mitch mcconnell is setting the tone. >> the struggle is just to be heard above the din. tonight, 20 u.s. embassies and consulates are closed and will remain closed for the rest of the week in an extraordinarily large-scale security precaution as we continue to learn more details about the terror threat that prompted it. sources told nbc news the closures came after the nsa intercepted an electronic communication between the man who succeeded osama bin laden as the head of al qaeda central and a former personal aide to bin laden and who is also the head of al qaeda's satellite group al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. nbc news reports tonight that a third significant al qaeda operative was also a party to communication discussing the attack. that third al qaeda leader expressed the desire to blow
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himself up in an attack, something he has not been allowed to do in the past. today a state department spokesperson was asked about the striking coincidence that the government made the threat public immediately after russia granted asylum to edward snowden, the nsa leaker. >> couldn't it be argued that suddenly we're hearing about this potential threat to u.s. interests and u.s. persons and property at a time when there's a lot of debate and a lot of criticism of this program as well as other nsa types of surveillance? >> i can assure you that that in no way at all, period, 100% affects how we evaluate threat information coming in, specifically in terms of this threat. >> republican peter king offered a vehement defense of the obama administration reaction to the terror threat. >> it's absolutely crazy to say there's any conspiracy here. i mean, i've seen it.
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the government would have been totally negligent if it did not take the actions taken. whether or not there was any controversy over the nsa at all, all these actions would have been taken. i'm a republican. i'm saying the administration -- i've had problems with the administration on different issues. but what they are doing now is what has to be done. they'd be derelict if they were not. and you know, we can't criticize them for doing too little with benghazi and now criticize them for doing too much. i'm giving them credit for saying they learned from benghazi and that's why they're firming up the embassies. >> doubts about the timing coincidence have been raised by glenn greenwald and rush limbaugh, who finally have found one thing they can sort of maybe kind of agree on. >> this is the worst threat the country has faced since 9/11, folks. you've got a little bit of a backlash against the nsa. the russians granting edward snowden asylum. he finally was able to leave the moscow airport. and then this benghazi thing. and again, whatever backlash there is against obama care, all
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of a sudden here comes this monstrous terror threat. now, it originally was going to close our embassies on sunday, but then it was so bad and it was so anecdotal and it was so credible and it was -- i mean, it was -- nothing compares to this until you go back to the same kind of chatter that we were hearing before 9/11. so we're going to close the embassies for the whole week. it's just easy to not believe it anymore. it's just too easy to be cynical. >> joining me now, nbc terrorism analyst evan coleman and former u.s. ambassador to iraq christopher hill. he is the dean of the joseph corbell school of international studies at the university of denver. ambassador hill, that line that limbaugh just said, it is just so easy to be cynical now, that is sadly true, that in a
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situation like this it is as easy as it has ever been to be cynical about the coincidence of this timing. what do you say to the people who are questioning the coincidence of timing here? >> well, with all due respect to those who look for these conspiracy theories, believe me, this is something, when they get intelligence of the kind they've clearly gotten in which they've actually put out to the public, it's a very serious matter. now, the question is when you don't know where the attack is, you don't know how, you don't know when, you tend to go kind of broad in the region. and whether the events of benghazi play a role in that, you know, that may be the case. but certainly i think, you know, an abundance of caution would result in closing these embassies for a few days in august. >> evan coleman, glenn greenwald pointed out as early as friday, saturday that if this had been during the bush administration, especially in the later years of
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the bush administration, then this coincidence of timing erupted, that democrats and liberals would be publicly strongly doubting the -- or raising the question, as they did in the past, of the bush administration's political manipulation of terror threats. >> yeah. and i'm sure rush limbaugh wouldn't have been along with them. >> that's exactly right. >> look, i think the reality is that anyone who has worked with the united states government knows for a fact the u.s. government is not nearly coordinated enough to pull off that kind of a grand sweeping conspiracy. there are too many leaky sieves in the u.s. government. and ed snowden is the exact example of that. it's not possible to arrange that kind of a conspiracy. the fact is that there are threats to americans out there. and i know glenn greenwald has his own particular ax to grind with the u.s. government. but however he feels about the prism program, however he feels about spying or whatnot, that is irrelevant and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that
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there is a terrorist organization out there, al qaeda, that is seeking to kill americans. anyone who disputes that fact or tells you that that is a conspiracy has absolutely no idea what they are talking about and should not be listened to because that is a fantasy that does not exist. al qaeda is real. al qaeda is seeking to kill americans. there's a fair room for debate about how serious a threat it is. but the fact that they're out there and trying to kill americans, i'm sorry, anyone that tells you otherwise is lying to you. >> well, i just want to note that glenn greenwald is not one of those who says that al qaeda is not out there trying to kill americans. and i think, evan, what you said about the debate being how big is the threat is exactly where glenn greenwald himself stands on this. but ambassador, as someone who has held an ambassadorial post in the threatened region, is it your impression that there is, as some republicans have indicated, an overcaution now or a larger caution? we'll find out whether it's
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overcautious. but a larger caution now about these embassies in the wake of benghazi. >> well, first of all, it's not just the wake of benghazi. we live in very troubled times in the middle east today. we are seeing really bloody divisions played out, first in syria, now in egypt. these are very, very difficult times. and so it is quite possible that al qaeda is taking advantage of this, is trying to gain arab leadership by saying we will go after the real culprits that is the united states. so there's a lot of reasons to have our sensors turned up at full volume, which clearly we have, and we've picked up something, and it's been credibly assessed across the range of people, whether it's peter king or others. so i think it is really necessary to be very cautious during these difficult times. >> evan, i've been wondering about the way the government handles this and the release of all this information.
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it seems that that's actually part of preventing the attack itself. just the telling them we've got something, we know you're up to something or we believe you're up to something and we're bringing extra vigilance to it. on the al qaeda side of that isn't that enough to just make them stand down and wait till the situation cools off and strike when least expected? >> well, that is the calculus. the calculus is that we're hoping to force them to change their tempo and their timing and hopefully when they do that that screws up the operation. i think the problem is that that's -- it's an estimate. that's a guess. and the reality is that we know right now that the same al qaeda networks where al qaeda leaders gather to release their material and to chat and whatnot, we know right now that the reports that the u.s. has intercepted these communications are being posted on there as of this moment. so al qaeda is very much aware of exactly what we know, and they know that we know that they know what we know. the question is of course what
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they do with it. if they're far enough advanced in the planning, they may not stop whatever they were planning. they may try to go ahead with it anyway. it's hard to say. but obviously in this case the calculus was the threat was so serious it was risk -- it was worth risking the fact that they would find out how they knew what we were up to in order to get the alert out and make sure that u.s. diplomatic facilities and americans in general in this region were ready and prepared for the unexpected. >> ambassador christopher hill and evan kohlmann, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. coming up, who is the hottest politician in america? and no, of course, we do not mean the most physically attractive. and in the spotlight tonight, an uplifting, inspirational story. a truly positive news story. yes, right here on a cable news program, a story that we can all feel good about. democrats, conservatives, liberals, republicans, everyone except possibly bill o'reilly, who might be a little bit
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embarrassed about how he's manipulated some of the talk around this kind of story. that's coming up. [ beeping ] ♪ [ male announcer ] we don't just certify our pre-owned vehicles. we inspect, analyze and recondition each one, until it's nothing short of a genuine certified pre-owned... mercedes-benz for the next new owner. ♪ hurry in to your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for 1.99% financing during our certified pre-owned sales event through september 3rd. both of us actually. our pharmacist recommended it. and that makes me feel pretty good about it. and then i heard about a study looking at multivitamins and the long term health benefits. and what do you know? they used centrum silver in the study.
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it's hard out there being anthony weiner. here's a little action from the campaign trail tonight for anthony weiner. >> [ bleep ] over. you've got little kids. >> little kids? >> there are little kids here. >> you have no right to talk about anything. you have no right to talk about little kids. >> okay. >> talking about little kids? social media? you want to see some twitter action? >> i'm going to get over it. honestly. you think you have a right to dominate the conversation because you're not voting for me. >> run, anthony, run. he's still at it. but he's not. as much as he might like to be,
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he is not the hottest politician in america. quinnipiac actually did a poll on what they call the heat of politicians. and the winner of the hottest politician game show that they've come up with is coming up next. lecoca-cola is partneringg. with nashville parent and charlotte parent magazines, along with the mayors of those cities, in the fit family challenge. a community wide program that offers free classes that inspire families to get out, enjoy moving together, and even track their activity online. it's part of our goal to inspire more than three million people to rediscover the joy of being active this summer.
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see the difference all of us can make... together. ♪ forever young ♪ i want to be forever young [ male announcer ] we don't just wear clothes, we live life in them. ♪ and ever ♪ forever young ♪ i want to be forever young [ male announcer ] keep clothes newer 50% longer with downy softness. the hottest politician. and of course by hot in politics we never mean physically attractive. in what quinnipiac calls their temperature poll, chris christie leads with only 53 degrees of heat. that's all it takes to lead. next is hillary clinton, with 52 degrees of heat.
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come on. the weather channel would call that a tie. well, anyone but the weather channel i guess would call that a tie. elizabeth warren is at 49.2 degrees. president obama is at 47.6 degrees. and so is senator kirsten gillibrand. ted cruz comes in at 46.8 degrees. chris christie is also on the cover of "new york" magazine this week in an article about the happy hothead. joining me now, the author of that new "new york" magazine piece, benjamin wallace wells, contributing editor for "new york witt mrngz and nick acachella, editor and publisher of politifacts new jersey. benjamin wallace wells, what about this? what did you call him? the happy hothead. i didn't know hotheads were happy. >> well, this one certainly is. you know, this has been an interesting campaign to watch. the piece that i did is sort of an observational study of him on the trail.
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and what he's running right now i think is an identity campaign. he's not running a traditional election campaign because he's up by 35 points. so what he's out to do, i think, is to convince the republican base nationally that its idea of populist could be expanded a little bit. so traditionally when we've thought of a republican populist we've thought of someone whose politics are very conservative, libertarian, fairly radical. chris christie has a very kind of populist way about him, a populist rhetoric, combines that with a very different politics. and i think he's sort of making a bet that, you know, this whole tea party moment that we've seen is sort of ending and that, you know, you see it when he took on rand paul very directly over the last couple of weeks. and there's a kind of conservative populism that he can tap into a populism of the middle class. that can be powerful.
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>> nick acachella, everyone -- well, the common wisdom was that his run-in with rand paul was good for him in new jersey and his re-election campaign. are there things that christie is doing now in new jersey that could then be difficult for him to bring into a national presidential campaign? >> several things. the rand paul fight is one of them certainly. i think ben is right, though, that -- well, first of all, ben is right that never underestimate the amount of fun that christie is having with this stuff. because a lot of what he's doing is a performance. i'm not saying it's an act. but it's a performance. he like any good actor exaggerates the qualities he wants exaggerated at any given point and plays down the things that he doesn't want emphasized. the rand paul thing is a perfect illustration of that. he wanted to make the point that he is different from the right
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wing of his party, and he made the point tremendously. it helped him definitely in the new jersey election this year. will it backfire on him? that all depends on where you think the republican party is going. i suspect that the -- christie's advisers are convinced that the party is going to become more moderate as we approach 2016. i'm not sure that's true. >> well, i want to go to the same quinnipiac heat poll. when they limit it to just republicans, meaning republican respondents to the poll, christie drops. he goes all the way down to number 8. you've got paul ryan at the top at 68.7 degrees, then ted cruz, marco rubio, scott walker, rand paul, jeb bush, rick santorum, all 60 degrees or above. and then there's chris christie, 59.8. and benjamin, that goes to what nick was just saying, is that
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what plays in new jersey doesn't play in the national republican party. >> yeah. so here's the question. it's how much has the national republican party changed since 2012? so every time out we start out a presidential cycle and there's a bunch of, you know, very conservative figures who get a whole lot of support and everybody says this is their race to lose and then, you know, we've seen at least over the last eight years that they keep losing it and the republican party, you know, has turned to figures like john mccain and mitt romney, who are, you know, in my view sort of less obviously capable politicians than christie. that's not to say christie will take this thing. but you know, there is an argument you can construct that says since 2012 there's been a real radicalization of the republican base. but there's a counterargument where you can say maybe what's happened is the republican base has not changed so much as the
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perception that republican politicians have of it. so what christie -- the kind of argument that christie's sort of implicitly making here is this is the same party that got, you know, all excited about rick perry or rick santorum and mike huckabee and ended up coming back to a fairly stable, you know, moderate figure. again, there is a real populist energy that i think christie can bring that gives him a little more power than a mccain or a romney -- especially romney didn't have at a similar point. >> the question this time is are the extreme right wing of the republican party, are the people there going to surrender once again to a moderate? they've done this for the last how many cycles? as far back as five, six cycles. they may not do that again. they seem to have become more adamant. on the other hand, there are so many of them that are talking about running that the christie people have to look at this and
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say wow, we could be the last guy standing because if it's going to come down -- they'll all kill each other off and we'll be the guy. >> that's kind of the way it worked for romney. benjamin wallace-wells and nick acocella, thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks for having us. coming up, proof that bill o'reilly is not the sociologist he thinks he is, especially when he's talking about american single mothers. that's coming up. in the spotlight we are going to introduce you to two remarkable young men who wrote essays in sunday's "new york times" about growing up with their single moms in mississippi and making the tough choice to go off to harvard and yale. yes, for them it was a very different choice than it is for most students. it wasn't an easy thing to do. you'll hear their stories coming up. go anywhere in the world, but you had to leave right now, would you go? man: 'oh i can't go tonight'
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you know, when trayvon martin was first shot, i said this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. >> bill o'reilly hated that speech. hated it. he angrily took to his microphone to defend the killing of trayvon martin because "he was a stranger to zimmerman and was dressed in clothing
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sometimes used by street criminals." o'reilly's words. then o'reilly played amateur sociologist and described what he saw as the biggest problem in trayvon martin's world this way. >> the reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the african-american family. right now about 73% of all black babies are born out of wedlock. that drives poverty. and the lack of involved fathers leads to young boys growing up resentful and unsupervised. >> never mind that trayvon martin was the son of a very involved and loving father. and never mind that barack obama grew up without a father and went on to do rather well for himself and be a credit to his single mother. >> and it has nothing to do with
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slavery. it has everything to do with you hollywood people and you derelict parents. >> derelict parents. nothing to do with slavery. the struggles of black america have nothing to do with slavery in bill o'reilly's very narrow and uneducated mind. the first government report that analyzed family structure in black america was written in 1965 by daniel patrick moynihan for president lyndon johnson to urge the president to action in the war on poverty. the moynihan report's analysis on slavery compared american slavery to brazilian slavery, which lasted 20 years longer than slavery in other countries. it also compared american slavery to other countries to make the point that american slavery was "the most awful the world has ever known." the moynihan report began with slavery. began with slavery in its analysis of black family
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structure in this country. the report then had a separate section on reconstruction and on jim crow and the particular agonies that were then reserved for black men. the report went on to consider what isabel wilkerson's masterful book calls "the great migration." the moynihan report went on at length about unemployment and poverty and how no group has suffered more in the employment market than black men. harvard sociologist william julius wilson tells that story movingly and with scholarly rigor in his important 1997 book "when work dispears." professor wilson and his friend, the former harvard professor moynihan, would never consider discussing or analyzing family structure in the black community if that discussion did not begin at slavery and include all the
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dynamic factors, good and bad, that have shaped the black american experience since slavery. and unlike bill o'reilly, they have both praised the determination and creativity that most black women have brought to mothering, including single mothers. and in our next segment i will have the honor of introducing you to two young black men bill o'reilly has never met. they went to high school together in jackson, mississippi. now one is at harvard and the other is at yale. they will both tell you why they owe their success to their heroic single mothers. [ school bell rings ]
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so, if you're sleeping in your contact lenses, what you wear to bed pre-ois your business. ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit airoptix.com for safety information and a free one-month trial. august is the month when many of our nests turn empty as american kids go off to college for the first time. most incoming freshmen are filled with excitement and high hopes and at least a little bit
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of anxiety about making new friends while their parents feel a mix of sadness and joy that's always a part of these great transitional moments. and of course the parents feel a great deal of anxiety about how to pay for college. but some kids have worries that most of us never experience. what is it like to go off to harvard and worry that your mother might not be able to make it economically if you don't stay home and go to a local college and get a job to help her out? how does it feel when you're at the airport going off to yale and your eyes fill with tears because you can't find the words to thank your single mother for everything she did to make this happen since the day she gave birth to you at age 15? both of those stories were told in yesterday's "new york times" by justin porter, who will soon be a sophomore at harvard, and travis reginald, who will soon be a sophomore at yale.
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they are important stories on many, many levels, including helping us understand the troubling finding in a recent study showing that most low income students who have top s.a.t. scores do not apply to america's top colleges while 78% of students with similar test scores and higher incomes apply and get accepted at those colleges. joining me now, yale sophomore travis reginald, the son of nicki reginald, and harvard sophomore justin porter, the son of sarah perkins. justin, i want to read a line from your article yesterday in the "times" where you said you were born and raised 1,500 miles away from harvard in a small apartment in jackson, mississippi with your mother and you -- it was just the two of you. what was it like to have to say
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good-bye to her and go that far away to college? >> it was -- it was excruciating in some regards just because it was a very -- i felt -- i felt very torn, you know. obviously like the immense opportunity that was ahead but like my mom never likes to let me know her emotions, about how she's feeling about letting me go. but she had this kind of absent stare in her eyes as she saw me walking off, you know, like start taking off my shoes putting them in the bin like to get on the plane. then i just broke down. because i mean i realized i can't come home for the weekend. i can't -- i can't check in to see how she's doing. i can't physically be there.
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so it was -- it was definitely a difficult decision. one that i ruminated over for the entire course of the year, really. in a nutshell. >> travis, talk about just how distant these kinds of schools felt for you guys, both high school classmates together in mississippi. and you wrote about how there just isn't information out there easily available to you about what top scores and top students like you can really think about seriously about college. how did it come -- how did you come to realize that you had a real shot at schools like harvard and yale? >> well, for me i kind of count myself as sort of unusual when
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it comes to thinking about colleges. it actually goes back to preschool. my mother was very young when she had me. and for some strange reason, i still don't know to this day, i apparently got in trouble with the teacher. my mother came up there, and she was crying because she didn't know what to do. and the whole outlook of i wasn't going to make her cry, i was going to do whatever it took to make her proud. and somewhere in elementary school, maybe from a movie, you know, the dram drop, schools like harvard and yale and how it is like the -- the epitome of the american dream. and as a kid i was in such awe that, you know, if i can work hard i can possibly get there. so for me it's kind of quite
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different, but for me in elementary school i kind of knew that it -- in my mind success was getting into an ivy league school. but it didn't become like more tangible until high school. as a kind of mission in my article, when i did a program called dartmouth bound for my senior year in high school where they fly out students just to check out the campus, get the feel of what an ivy league school is like, and it was wonderful. it was the first time i got on a plane. and it was breathtaking. that the staff -- the administrators could see me there. it really meant a lot. so they really made it tangible for me. and all the various like letters i got from different universities saying that some intangible thing that i have will lead me to be successful at the school. so it's very beneficial.
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>> justin, you talked about in your piece this remarkable moment where you got early acceptance to harvard in december and then that night after all the celebrating -- >> right. >> -- you started to cry uncontrollably because you worried about what it would mean for your mother and in the last few weeks of high school it was especially difficult for you. i want to read a section of what you wrote about that. you said the guilt was invasive. "beneath my smile, shame dominated my thoughts. i spent the last few weeks of my senior year worried sick that if i left she would not have enough to eat, a safe place to live, loving company to listen to her stories. i decided to defer my acceptance. she would hear nothing of it." your acceptance into harvard is one of the shining accomplishments of my life, she said, "and i'll be damned if i see you give it away." that's a determined mother who
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had -- it was very clear to her what she wanted, wasn't it? >> it definitely was. her tone definitely made that very clear to me. you know, it's interesting. we jump over these hoops in high school. you know, we take the required classes. we take the standardized tests. and they kind of put us on the trajectory. in my entire like question, what i was grappling with was was my trajectory going in a direction that was opposite of that, of the people who i love and have been around for my entire life. and it was -- it was me like going full steam ahead on one other side, and i just -- i couldn't help but look like in the mirror and think about what are the counterfactuals, you know, what are the -- what are the possibilities that i'm
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excluding myself from and the people that i love from. but i don't regret it. and i don't think my mom regrets it at all because i can -- every time she hears about me or she just reads my acceptance letter, you know, her smile or her -- or i hear her like telling one of her friends on the phone late at night in a whispered voice so i don't hear it, you know, like bragging incessantly or something like that, it reminds me that it's all worth it. and that's kind of what keeps me going, really. >> justin, quickly before we go, has your mother had a chance to visit harvard, visit you at harvard? >> she has not, unfortunately. >> and travis, has your mother had a chance to visit you at yale? >> not at all. same story as justin. just the photos. >> well, listen, we're going to make sure that your moms can
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visit you at college. so you just let us know when they want to do it and when the schedule works, and we'll make sure that that's easy for them to do. okay? >> thank you. >> thank you. yeah. >> all right. justin porter and travis reginal, great guys. thank you very much for joining me. and travis, there's more for you. in a very special "rewrite." travis will show us a better way of saying thank you and a better way of saying i love you. because sometimes there are better ways to say those things. but only a poet can do that. travis reginal's beautiful poetry is next in the "rewrite." [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets.
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you will lose 3 sets of keys 4 cell phones 7 socks and 6 weeks of sleep but one thing you don't want to lose is any more teeth. if you wear a partial, you are almost twice as likely to lose your supporting teeth. new poligrip and polident for partials 'seal and protect' helps minimize stress, which may damage supporting teeth, by stabilizing your partial. and 'clean and protect' kills odor-causing bacteria. care for your partial. help protect your natural teeth. in the middle of his freshman year at yale travis reginal wrote a poem entitled "mother father" which his mother did not know about until she read it on sunday in the "new york times." in the poem travis rewrites the words "thank you" into a deeper expression of his gratitude to his mother, nicki reginal.
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and he finds the words "i love you" inadequate because as he says in the poem the only way he could really express his love for his mother is if he were to place his beating heart in her palms. "the last word" is proud to present the first public reading of "mother father" by the poet. joining me again is travis reginal. travis, go ahead. >> okay. i wake up at 3:00 in the morning with the pile of work i haven't touched and deadlines that stand as daunting as skyscrapers and i think about you, mother. i'm reminded of how at the end of each conversation there's this awkward pause where neither one of us can find the strength to say i love you. it's not that i don't. but rather the only way i can express the way i feel is if i were to place my beating heart in your palms. i remember being at the airport at the beginning of my freshman year in college.
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suitcase full of insecurities and doubts with a pocket full of literary tricks in my sleeve and a penchant for smiling my way through everything. but that day gratitude didn't have enough room in my chest. nothing to stop the levees in my eyes from breaking. tears that resembled waterfalls spilled your name on my cheeks and stained my plane tickets. no, this one has to be more than love because words will never be enough to describe a woman whose life is like the first meal in the wild for a starving child. mom, you don't give yourself enough credit. you were 15 with a lifetime of dreams tucked away in that precious head of yours until some smooth-talking guy whispered empty promises, took your dreams away as if he were doing you a favor, and gave you a child as a parting gift. dad, if i would have known that moment was the closest you would ever be to me and my mother, i would have forgiven you at conception. but little did i know you had aborted me in your mind and little did i know that no matter
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how hard i tried or how far i hid myself in another reality as a child that eventually you would cross my mind again. every time i see another boy playing with his father, every time i shave and realize that it shouldn't take this long or every time i tie my tie and it slides out of center because i watched that how to tie a tie video too many times for my liking and i didn't have anyone to show me how. it's a sad day indeed when you have to do a google search on how to be a man. i tried to make myself visible, make it impossible for you to ignore me, do whatever it took to make a headline somewhere. i made sure i worked to be the top of my class in the hope you'd hear my graduation speech broadcast across tv. i even ran track because i heard you were pretty fast in high school and if i want something that would give us something in common beside our first names. but mother, i don't want this to be another sob story. i want you to remember that we lived every god given moment to the fullest of what we had. we left permanent footprints on
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shores where everything else was washed away. i don't see life as a struggle. just as an opportunity to show what we're made of. so let's take memories past and write them on the face of giants so the world can see. mother, i will toast to your heartbeat that i hear in my dreams at night. it's the rhythm of hope and vitality that i never want to stop moving to. [ male announcer ] the wind's constant force
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let's just tell it like it is. if the doctors told senator mcconnell that he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it. now the senator and i, we have two different views of public service. as we all know, he used public service as a carnival game of whack a mole. well, i tell you, i don't scare easy and neither does the rest of kentucky. >> that's kentucky's democratic secretary of state alison lundergan grimes at kentucky's annual fancy farm picnic this weekend, where she faced off against republican leader mitch mcconnell. in his speech at the picnic senator mcconnell never mentioned his potential democratic opponent's name, but
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he did take a stab at her father, former kentucky democratic party chairman jerry lundergan. >> i want to say how nice it is, how nice it is to see jerry lundergan back in the game. like the loyal democrat he is, he's taking orders from the obama campaign on how to run his daughter's campaign. they told him to make a pitch on the internet for the women's vote, and he sent a check to anthony weiner. >> joining me now, "washington post" political reporter nia malika-henderson. nia-malika, when do you think the last time anthony weiner was mentioned at a kentucky political -- at a kentucky senate campaign? >> yeah. very, very weird and telling about that fancy farm picnic,
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not very fancy, very raucous there. i think alison lundergan grimes came out very well. she handled that crowd. it was a packed audience for mitch mcconnell there. you saw everybody yelling "we want mitch, we want mitch." and there she was, very pointed in her criticism of mitch mcconnell. i think the people to watch in this race are the clintons. clinton's a great, great friend of alison's father. he's already cut an ad in support of her. and this is really going to be a test of democrats' fortunes in the south more generally because that is where democrats have some room to grow. and this is a state, kentucky, that clinton of course won twice, in '92 and then of course again in '96. so i think that'll be interesting to see, how much bill clinton is there and how much hillary clinton is there on the ground stumping for alison. >> and the polling at this stage is horrible for mcconnell. whenever an incumbent is below 50%, they're in trouble. mcconnell's at 44%, and alison
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grimes is a point ahead in the poll. it's basically a tie. but at 45. i mean, that's -- an incumbent senator looks at that and panics. >> yes. he is in panic mode and he has in some ways been in panic mode even before this race was under way. you remember it was supposed to be ashley judd. he really blasted her even before she decided to drop out, or not get in this race. but this is how he's going to campaign. it's going to be a tough, tough slog for him. but i think you always have to in some ways give the incumbent the benefit of the doubt and the edge here. but it is going to be tough. he's going to have a challenger on his right and then a challenger that really is going to try to put some daylight between her and obama and really try to campaign as a clinton democrat. kentucky is a state that has 500,000 more registered democrats than republicans. those are very much conservative democrats. so expect her to talk about coal. she'll be pro coal. and she won't sound at all really like an obama democrat.
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>> and she's really an entertaining speaker. that line about mr. mcconnell would not pass a kidney stone -- >> yeah. >> -- is -- she just connects, it seems-w that audience. >> that's right. i mean, she -- in that stump speech she seems to really embody kentucky. she's going to be the youngest person running against mitch mcconnell. she's what, 35, i think. mcconnell has been in the senate for something like 30 years. so she's going to cast herself not only as the new kid on the block but a clinton democrat, a new kind of southern democrat. i think it's going to be a really interesting race to watch. i think she's still got an uphill slog. obama only got about 38% of the vote in that state. i'd expect her to at least do that. and she'll have to figure out a way of being creative about drawing out some of those really conservative democrats who voted for romney. >> and she's an experienced statewide campaigner. the polls -- the other poll item here on mcconnell, disapproval
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of -- job disapproval of 51%, approval 40%. if someone can exploit this, she looks like the person who can do it. >> i think so. warning, let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. a dozen years ago this month, the united states of america received a sharp warning. bin laden. determined to strike in u.s. that message was delivered to the president directly. a month later this country was